Jon S Lawrence

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The atmospheric conditions above Dome A, a currently unmanned location at the highest point on the Antarctic plateau, are uniquely suited to astronomy. For certain types of astronomy Dome A is likely to be the best location on the planet, and this has motivated the development of the Plateau Observatory (PLATO). PLATO was deployed to Dome A in early 2008.(More)
One of the most important considerations when planning the next generation of ground-based optical astronomical telescopes is to choose a site that has excellent 'seeing'--the jitter in the apparent position of a star that is caused by light bending as it passes through regions of differing refractive index in the Earth's atmosphere. The best mid-latitude(More)
The AASTINO (Automated Astrophysical Site Testing INternational Observatory) is a remote laboratory that has been operating at Dome C station on the Antarctic plateau since January 2003. It is designed to run throughout the Antarctic winter without intervention, and to collect data on the astronomical qualities of the site. A Stirling engine and a pair of(More)
The best ground-based astronomical sites in terms of telescope sensitivity at infrared and submillimeter wavelengths are located on the Antarctic Plateau, where high atmospheric transparency and low sky emission are obtained because of the extremely cold and dry air; these benefits are well characterized at the South Pole station. The relative advantages(More)
Over a decade of site testing in Antarctica has shown that both South Pole and Dome C are exceptional sites for astronomy, with certain atmospheric conditions superior to those at existing mid-latitude sites. However, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau, Dome A, is expected to experience colder atmospheric temperatures, lower wind speeds, and a(More)
The near infrared sky spectral brightness has been measured at the South Pole with the Near Infrared Sky Monitor (NISM) throughout the 2001 winter season. The sky is found to be typically more than an order of magnitude darker than at temperate latitude sites, consistent with previous South Pole observations. Reliable robotic operation of the NISM, a low(More)
The PLATeau Observatory (PLATO) is an automated self-powered astrophysical observatory that was deployed to Dome A, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau, in 2008 January. PLATO consists of a suite of site-testing instruments designed to quantify the benefits of the Dome A site for astronomy, and science instruments designed to take advantage of the(More)
PLATO (PLATeau Observatory) is the third-generation astronomical site-testing laboratory designed by the University of New South Wales. This facility is operating autonomously to collect both scientific and site-testing data from Dome A, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau, at an elevation of 4093m. We describe the power generation and management(More)
A decade of site testing at the South Pole has shown that the Antarctic Plateau can offer enormous opportunities for astronomers. The combination of extreme cold and dryness, high altitude and very low wind speeds throughout the tro-posphere confers powerful advantages—especially for infrared and sub-millimetre astronomy. However, Dome C is higher, drier(More)
The Antarctic plateau contains the best sites on earth for many forms of astronomy, but none of the existing bases was selected with astronomy as the primary motivation. In this article, we try to systematically compare the merits of potential observatory sites. We include South Pole, Domes A, C, and F, and also Ridge B (running northeast from Dome A), and(More)